As you may have heard, we had an earthquake here today. As my parents are out of town, I decided to drive over to check on my mom's cat and the house in general -- plus just to visit with Big Fat Shadowcat, since she loves company and she's a complete and utter sweetheart.

Here's the email I just sent my dad following that visit:


Well, the good news is that the house seems fine and Shadowcat also seems fine. She was very happy to have some company, and barked at me from the kitchen while I patrolled the house (didn't check out your bedroom, though). She got lots of pats and that made her very kitty happy.

The bad news is that because you have the thermostat set so high, you might come home to earwigs. I was setting up my coffee maker chez moi when an earwig fell from my shirt on to the counter, so the cats got to watch as I freaked out. By the time I'd grabbed something to kill it, it had disappeared, despite my patiently waiting for it. So now I've set my kitchen on fire and I'm not going back in there, Moe's whining be damned.

Also there was a rabbit in your front yard, so I said hi to it and apologized for not having carrots with me.



I'd like to say that wedding planning is keeping me from updating, but that would be a filthy, filthy lie.

In reality, I'm frequently intimidated by my own blog. I have all kinds of rants or other thoughts that I want to put up here, but then I get too lazy, or indecisive, or self-conscious about posting it and I don't.

So here we are. Bah.

Every now and again, I think back over my past relationships. Last weekend I was in Toronto, the city of much of my time with the First Big Love, and so of course he was back in the forefront of my mind. He pops up now and again -- such is the curse of him as the FBL, I guess.

It's funny how much influence some people have had on me: my likes and dislikes, my personality, my ways of thinking. I almost think he's one of the boyfriends who's challenged me or at least pushed me the most, creatively speaking, since he himself was a very creative person. Maybe it's because much of our time together was while we were in school, which can be a very creative time, I don't know.

I do wonder if my past boyfriends think of me, and if they do, what they think.

I won't say I miss who I was then, but I think a part of me does. That was before I had responsibilities -- when the biggest fear was getting this or that paper or reading done in time. I guess paying for school was a fear, too.

Oh yeah -- and I worked in there. But it was different. It was work for school money and spending money, not for house payments and cat food and internet access (what can I say, I know my priorities).

It's taken my some time to get here. Some of my friends were here five, ten years ago. Some of them seem to have had it all figured out pretty early on. Maybe some of us come into the world more formed than others, as it were. Maybe I took awhile to get here, and I certainly took a few knocks between now and then.

But the scars and the hurts and the smiles and the laughs... well, they've all gone into the caustic, bitchy, opinionated person that I am. And I have friends and family who like me as I am (or more or less), I have two cats who adore me, and I have a guy who drives me crazy and wants to spend the rest of his life driving me crazy.

So yay for me, I guess.

I want to spend more time on my hobbies. Sometimes I don't think I have work-life balance figured out. It's not like my last job, where I didn't feel guilty spending time at work writing for personal things -- here I don't always feel I can do that, even though it'd probably be easier to manage.

I wish I had a story to tell.

I wish I had a story to tell, instead of rants and frustrations and words that mean nothing.

I guess it helps when people say that they agree with me, or that I've expressed something they've long felt... yet I want to write fiction. I want to tell fantastic stories -- but I don't have them to tell.

Not that there's anything wrong with being an author of articles or even twitter snippets, but I want something more, if I can get there.

Of course, there's a lot to do in the meantime.

In fact, there's so much that I need two lifetimes to do it in. And there's the rub.

I guess, like everything, I can get to it after the wedding.

Somehow, it seems the closer I get to the day and the more I have to get done to make it happen, the less I almost want it. It's a day of everyone else's wants and needs, and I just don't care about most of it.

If it were up to me, I'd be getting married in a zoo, with about 40 people watching, and I'd wear a pretty dress and look pretty and eat good food and dance all night. And no one would care if there were fancy doodads on the table, or who was or wasn't invited, and no one would care about bouquets and centerpieces, and favours and everything else.

Tradition is what you make of it. Wedding traditions are bullshit, almost all of them. Flowers are important to other people, not me. Wedding programs and invitations are keepsakes for others, not me.

And I know if I were to complain about having to do all of this planning and organizing and arranging and PAYING FOR -- I'd get told that it's because I want it. And I don't. I want to wear comfortable red shoes and maybe even keep my piercings in my ears, and have no mention of God in my ceremony and have ninjas as wedding toppers on the cake if I want. I want my recessional music to be fun and I don't want anyone's feelings to get hurt because this isn't there or that is.

I want no children at my wedding, and I don't want to hear anyone complain about it. AT ALL.

I want the day to be about us and what we want. And I don't care what they say -- it's not, not all of it. If it was? I wouldn't be trying to figure out how to pay for 150 invitees. I wouldn't be girding my loins for battle on things. I wouldn't be waiting to hear if so-and-so is venting to so-and-so about decisions we've made.

And we've already sunk money into things, and we've already planned things, and it's less than 3 months away, so it's too late anyways.

Above all... I want to enjoy the day. I wish it could be the day I wanted it to be. But I'll just have to make the best of it, I guess. Just... everyone else, stop getting your feelings hurt or involved, okay? I don't need the extra guilt. Mine is enough -- I don't need to take on yours, too.

Mind you, there's only some peoples' guilt or upset that I'm going to let get to me. Probably just my mom's, in fact. Everyone else is a lot more easily dismissed.

*laugh* Song lyrics that just started up. Lazy Eye, by Silversun Pickups: "I've been waiting for this moment all my life / but it's not quite right." I'd say that's as good a note to end on, especially since I ended up someplace completely unplanned from my original goal. Such is the risk of stream-of-consciousness, I suppose.


Haiku of hate:

Pretty hipster girl
With your cute ukelele
I hate you so much.


Apparently my response to a frustrating month at work is to get drunk on a glass and a half of merlot and follow the cats around main floor, telling them that I love them.

I think I'll postpone my latest rant for now. I'm sure there's some inanimate object that needs to be told it's loved.


You want, you need, you have to have.

These, along with a number of predictable questions, are the statements I've been hearing most often when it comes to the wedding planning.

Though to be honest, a lot of the "you want" are more likely to be "I want... so you have to have." For example, when I said that I didn't know if I was going to be carrying flowers down the aisle, I was meant with, "but I want to carry flowers!" from my sister, and "oh, but you have to have flowers at a wedding, at least a few!" from my mother.

A former coworker of mine, before I got engaged, told me that I wanted a giant diamond engagement ring, and a traditional white dress (this was in response to my stating that I wanted to wear a purple ball gown down the aisle). She was certain she'd managed to change my mind with regards to both of these things, but here we are now -- and I don't have a giant diamond ring. In fact, I requested a smaller stone so that a) I could get the setting I liked, b) it was cheaper. And the only reason I went for a diamond was because it was a Canadian diamond. Tragically, not one of the ones with the polar bear etched on it, but ah well -- maybe a for a future anniversary present. Although I've been told I'm not getting anymore jewelry.

Anyhow... you have to have. That's my favourite of all the wedding-related statements, because it really reinforces what people think of as traditional. To some, it's lighting a unity candle, or jumping over a broom, or smashing cake in the other's face. Not that anyone has told me I have to have any of these things, but I use them to illustrate my point. What I have to have at the wedding is simple and consists of a very short list of things: me, the fiance, and the officiant. Everything else is window dressing.

And then there's you need. Oh, how I'm loving you need lately, especially since it's coming from people like the fiance or the future mother-in-law (though passed along to me by the fiance). You need to start getting the invitations ready, you need to update the wedding website, you need you need you need. Guess what? There are two of us, four parents, and six bridal party members that could very easily be helping with all of this crap -- it does not have to fall entirely on my shoulders.

And don't get me wrong, of course I love the fiance when I'm not plotting his demise. But we're both admitted procrastinators, and we're both better at getting up off our asses and doing various things. He's the one that reaches the point of "it's time to clean" and will drag me along in his wake. I'm the one that sees the deadline approaching on wedding things and either goes ahead and books the appointments, or gives him a deadline by which they have to be done and then waits for him to reluctantly agree. Because yes, he knows they have to be done, but setting up the registry is definitely not as enticing as lying on the couch and watching football.

I understand, I do. There are plenty of wedding tasks that I'm not exactly gung-ho about. That's partly why I've been the apathetic bride-to-be that I am: I'm not interested in spending days on end interviewing, researching, chasing down, whatever. If I find a dress that I like, I'm going to buy it. I know me -- I have a lot on the go, especially with work (and my coworker out on mat leave -- though now I can train her eventual replacement the way I want!), and I'm just going to run out of time. So sometimes this means that rather than ask the fiance multiple times for multiple weeks to take care of something, I just go ahead and do it. Though heaven help me if he tells me I should do things that he's perfectly capable of doing... yet at the same time, my control freak side is coming out again. I do like handling everything and knowing what's going on. I'm just a mess.

But more than the assignment of tasks is the questions and assumptions from people that are driving me up the wall. I've had people ask to see the dress, I've had people ask me if they can come to the wedding, I've had people tell me they're available the day of the wedding. I've had (now four) people try to launch careers off my wedding -- including offering services as a wedding gift. With one person in particular, she was never on the invite list (I don't even know her last name) -- yet she offered services as her wedding gift to us. Thanks, but since you were never going to be on the guest list, there's no obligation on your part to give us a gift.

*sigh* And the guest list is giving me more than a few conniptions. The fiance has a large family, and isn't willing to cut any of them. As I probably said before, he's said that he doesn't expect they'll all show, but they all still have to be invited -- so there's always that chance. What it means is that a) definitely no host bar (and not even a subsidized one at that), but also that I'm having to trim my side accordingly. So on the days I'm feeling crabby -- and especially at individuals in particular -- I start slashing my guest list.

I'm trying to use fair criteria for my list -- other than my fluctuating moods. Have they been a part of our relationship? Have they met and spoken to the fiance for longer than five minutes? Are they people whose company I genuinely enjoy? Do I socialize with them outside of group situations? Would I willingly spend an evening with them? Would I buy them dinner on a normal occasion?

But most importantly -- do I feel that they want to be here to celebrate the fiance and I taking a new step together?

Later, I'll share my thoughts on those people who say they're going to crash the wedding, and the reasons why this semi-"traditional" wedding may feature a bride packing weapons.


It's with a certain amount of nervousness that I'm returning once more to write my boring-ass updates. I've written countless posts in my head over the last many moons, and I've always been hesitant to post them because of who I perceive as reading them -- I'm stuck in this loop of not wanting to air my true feelings out of the concern that they might hurt someone's feelings.

But enough time has passed that any readers I might've once had are probably long gone. As well, I need a place to air my frustrations and fears. I've friends, of course, but it's not the same. Here, well... sure, there are people on the other side of the screen that are just as likely as anyone else to be judging me, but ... I've just come to a place where the need to vent is overruling the fears of who might read it.

Granted, it's still tough to get up the urge to write after spending all day in front of a computer doing just that, but government writing lacks the creative output that this place does.

So, without further ado, here goes. Check your sensibilities at the door -- no one said you had to read this.

In less than five months' time, I am getting married, and the closer it gets the more scared I get.

Not because of who I'm marrying or my fears that I'm not ready. Hell, I'll be 30 a few short days later -- if I wasn't ready by now, I probably would never be ready.

And yes, sometimes the dear fiance (I'm writing this on my laptop, so forgive the lack of accent) drives me crazy. Some days I want nothing to do with him, and I just want to be alone with my junk and my cats and my peace and quiet. Some days I just stare at him, thinking annoyed thoughts and frustrated at his utter inability to answer a simple question with a direct answer.

And then he'll make a ridiculous face, or he does something sweet for the cats, or he shows those qualities that made me fall for him, and he gets to live another day. Even when he wakes me up in the middle of the night holding his breath and then gasping it out again as he does, while I lie beside him and try to fall back asleep and think to myself that a pillow would do the trick quite nicely...

But of course I exaggerate. Except on the breath holding/gasping thing -- he does do that, and it drives me crazy. But unlike some of his other quirks, that one's unintentional.

No, it's not because of these things that I'm scared to marry him. We've been together nearly 3 years, which matches the longest relationship I've had -- which spanned from when I was 15 to 18, and set the low bar for relationships and boyfriends and mistakes. We moved in together pretty much on our 6-month anniversary, and we bough a house together 13 months later. I was asked then if I was sure I knew him well enough to buy a house with him, which I thought was a pretty ridiculous question, but no matter.

I know him. I can predict how he'll react in most situations, and I know he's stubborn as a mule. When his coworkers were telling me I should just tell him to propose, I looked at them askance -- did they not know this man? Certainly, his stubbornness can be tied to a sense of obstinacy and general pain-in-the-assedness, but I also wanted him to propose when he was ready.

No, it's not a fear of uncovering some deep, dark secret about him that scares me. I've had two ex-boyfriends confess to periods of incest in their pasts. I've had an ex-boyfriend confess to an interest in watersports. I do my best to keep an open mind while simultaneously making sure it's closed enough to keep at least a few brain cells in place.

It's more the relationships around me that I see that cause me fear. I see relationships around me dissolving, turning into infidelity and divorce, and it scares me. I don't want to grow to the point where I resent this man I've chosen to spend the rest of my life and have babies and grow old with a houseful of cats. I don't want to tire of him and look for new excitement to alleviate whatever I feel is lacking in my life with him.

But beyond that, bigger than that, I don't want him to tire of me. I see so many people online complaining about their spouses -- more often men talking about how much they hate their wives -- and I don't want that for us. I watch Mad Men and I know it's a different time and it's fiction, but the infidelity scares me. I see my coworker's relationship with her husband disintegrating and I see her talk about the on-again, off-again relationship she's had with another married man in our office, and it terrifies me. I know she's separated from her husband at this time, and so there's that circumstance, but he's not.

And of course, it has nothing to do with him, my pain-in-the-ass dear fiance. I trust him. And our relationship is built on mutual trust and monogamy. I have friends who've chosen to open their relationships to more than just their spouses, and I wish them well. I feel sometimes as though I'm judged as lesser-than because I prefer a relationship model that features only one other person, and I get resentful of that perception. I don't feel that my friends are flawed because they've gone outside their primary relationship to find fulfillment, and so I don't want to be perceived as flawed because I don't have what it takes to do the same.

But that's my perception, my impression, my inference based on nothing more than ... nothing, really. I've never had someone who was polygamous or polyamorous tell me their relationship model was superior to mine, and I would never say the same to them. I suppose that's just yet another insecurity of mine, along with the belief that no one really likes me, and I'm still that obnoxious kid I've always been (okay, that last one is true).

But I'm also fortunate that I can look at relationships in my family tree and see long-lasting success. My parents, my grandparents, one aunt and uncle -- they've proven that you can be with someone for the long haul, through all the ups and downs. Not everyone becomes restless or resentful or unhappy and strays. There are people that find someone that works for them and with them and makes it work.

Me? Well, I've found someone that doesn't bring me flowers for no reason, and never will. He wishes I didn't have so many books in the house, and insists I'll never read them again -- despite never knowing what I'm actually reading at any given time. He makes fun of me for my inability to remember certain peoples' names, and declared a moratorium on jewelry for gifts after buying my engagement ring.

But he's someone that slept on the couch so that the cats and I could have the whole bed when I was scared and stressed about Venus being sick. He complains about the cats hogging the bed, but won't move them because that would be unkind. He went with me when Digger had to be put down, and made sure I ate afterwards. He has witnessed a few awkward emotional moments with my family. He listened to me babble on about nothing every night when I was away for my grandfather's funeral, and he didn't make fun of me when I got upset feeling as though my cousins were making fun of my father.

He's supportive when I'm in the right and calls me on it when I'm being unreasonable. We argue, we support one another, and above all else, we laugh. I still can't help my fears, but at least I know they have nothing to do with the person he is.